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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Manchester attack

Manchester attack: UK terror threat level raised to critical

  • 46 minutes ago
  • From the sectionUK
Manchester vigilImage copyrightEUROPEAN PRESS AGENCY
Image captionThousands attended a vigil in Manchester earlier
The UK terror threat level has been raised to its highest level of "critical", meaning further attacks may be imminent, Theresa May has said.
The move came after investigators were unable to rule out whether Manchester bombing suspect Salman Abedi acted alone, the prime minister said.
Military personnel will now be deployed to protect key sites.
Twenty-two people were killed and 59 injured when a suicide bomber attacked Manchester Arena on Monday evening.
The prime minister also confirmed the government had triggered "Operation Temperer", a long-standing emergency plan to put soldiers into key public locations to support armed police in protecting the public.
Military personnel may also be seen at other events over the coming weeks, such as concerts, Mrs May said, and would work under the command of police officers.
The prime minister said she did not want the public to feel "unduly alarmed" but said it was a "proportionate and sensible response".
Saffie Roussos and Georgina Callander
Image captionEight-year-old Saffie Roussos and Georgina Callander are among the dead
She said the government would take "every measure available to us" to help the police protect the public.
"The spirit of Manchester and the spirit of Britain is far mightier than the sick plots of depraved terrorists.
"That is why the terrorists will never win and we will prevail," she said.
The highest level, which is decided by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre - a group of experts from the police, government departments and agencies - has only been reached twice before.
Met Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, who is the national counter-terrorism policing lead, said the investigation was "fast-moving and making good progress".
"However, a critical line of inquiry is whether the dead terrorist was acting alone or part of a group," he said.
"We still have critical lines of inquiry they're chasing down which has led to a level of uncertainty."
The first time the threat level was raised to critical was in 2006 during a major operation to stop a plot to blow up transatlantic airliners with liquid bombs.
The following year, security chiefs raised it once more as they hunted for the men who had tried to bomb a London nightclub, before going on to attack Glasgow Airport.

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